The elegant, often affectionate Doberman is a classic example of the industriously successful dog-breeding programs that took place in Germany just over 100 years ago.
Beginning in the 1870s, a German tax collector, Louis Doberman, used the Rottweiler, German Pincher, Weimaraner, English Greyhound and Manchester Terrier to develop this breed. He wanted a dog to accompany and protect him as he worked.
Today, this obedient, alert and resourceful breed is a companion and it among the finest police dogs, guard dogs, and war dogs.
A noted show dog, the Doberman has also become a beloved and loyal family pet.
But, due to unscrupulous breeding, nervousness and fear biting can occur in some individuals.
Good breeders, however, ensure that their dogs are neither shy nor vicious, and that they are well socialized before going to a new home.
Heart disease is, unfortunately, becoming an increasingly serious problem for the breed.
Medium to large, 60 to 85 pounds; females 24 to 26 inches; males 26 to 28 inches.
Color: Black, red, blue, or fawn, all with rust markings.
Energetic, watchful, and fearless. Loyal and intelligent. Reserved with strangers and may be aggressive with strange dogs.
High energy level.
Active owner; a firm person who has time and energy for training.
Daily mental and physical exercise (vigorous runs, long walks, agility), indoor companionship.
Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years.